It’s time to seperate SDA fact from fiction
Specialised Disability Accommodation, otherwise known as SDA, is part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
It has been a major game changer for participants approved for this funding, as it provides suitable housing to accommodate for their disability needs.
Additionally, it provides an opportunity for Participants to live as part of the community.
Although only a small percentage of participants will get funding. (it it is estimated that only 6%), the Australian disability sector is still facing a shortage of SDA properties.
Let’s go through some of the common myths associated with SDA one by one:
Myth 1: It is easy to get SDA approval, and any property that goes through audit can get SDA.
Many Providers think that any property that goes through the Audit can get SDA approval – It’s not that straightforward.
Firstly, the Provider needs to choose and meet the requirements of the appropriate design standards that they wish to apply for. The 4 design standards are:
- Improved Liveability
- Fully Accessible
- High Physical Support properly needs to meet the Liveable Housing Australia standards.
The next step is ensuring the property meets the standards prescribed by Liveable Housing Australia.
Myth 2: Participants don’t need to make any payments, it all comes from the SDA funding.
Tenants will be required to make a Reasonable Rent Contribution (‘RRC’) to their SDA Provider, which will be in addition to any SDA payment from the NDIS. The rent will be a standalone payment for rent only. Rent paid by a participant will be limited to 25% of the Disability Support Pension plus any Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
Myth 3: It is difficult to get SDA participants into your SDA dwelling.
Whilst it has been stated that only 6% of participants will get SDA funding, there is a huge demand for SDA property. The NDIA estimates that of the 28,000 participants that will have housing funding, around 10,500 participants do not currently have an appropriate home. These may include people living at home with aging informal supports or young people living in residential aged care facilities or hospital. Many of the 10,500 participants may be on accommodation waiting lists, some for many years, which demonstrates the historical under-supply of housing for people with a disability. To meet this demand, it has been estimated that between 500 and 900 new properties will need to be constructed each year for the next 10 years.
Myth 4: Supported Independent Living (SIL) and SDA are the same thing.
Supported Independent Living focuses on the actual support and services to the Participant, whilst SDA focuses on the accommodation.
Another misconception is that you cannot be a SDA provider whilst being a SIL provider; This is not the case, you can do both simultaneously. This is the best way to ensure your participants have the best care and the highest financial return for you as the Provider.
Myth 5: SDA income is all the same for SDA providers
The NDIS price guide has different pricing for SDA, which is dependant on several factors:
- Whether the dwelling is new or existing. a. The ‘new builds’ refers to housing where an occupancy certificate was obtained after 1 April 2016. The price for new builds is set to provide an incentive to a broad range of potential providers to respond quickly in constructing new properties to meet the high SDA demand.
- Location factor :This factor accounts for the variations in the cost of building the property in each location.
- The Type of Dwelling . This will depend on the dwelling the provider has been approved for.